PM360 recently spoke to Matt Barry, Associate Director, Urology Marketing, Astellas Pharma US, about the evolution of a photographer.
PM360: I hear you like to spend your spare time snapping photos. When did you first get into photography?
Yes, in addition to spending time with my family and being an avid sports fan (Baltimore and Chicago teams, Cubs not Sox), I really enjoy photography. I tinkered around with cameras in high school (I even snuck onto the field of a NCAA football game to take some pictures of Barry Sanders during his Heisman Trophy season), but didn’t actually own my first camera until I was in my 20s. That thing went with me everywhere, much to the chagrin of my friends.
What do you enjoy most about taking photos?
The fact that you’re never done learning as a photographer is something that I really enjoy. I’ve taken a few online classes and read so many books—but there’s still so much I don’t know! I also enjoy watching others react to my pictures, especially when we’re looking back at all of the photos from the past as they float by on the Apple TV or we page through photo books that I put together each year.
Do you mean actual physical photo books? Those seem like a rarity today.
Yes, making those books is really a lot of fun—it takes time and effort to sift through the thousands of images I’ve made over the course of the year, then select the handful that go into the family “year book.” Not only does that allow time for reflection on the past year and marveling at where we went or how much the kids have grown, I can see how I’ve evolved as a photographer. I always look at images and find ways they could have been just a bit better.
So, how have you improved as a photographer over the years?
Photography really took off for me when my daughter was born in 2006 and I upgraded from a point-and-shoot camera to a DSLR. The more I took photos of her, the more I started to notice that I needed some instruction, so I read more books and took more and more pictures. Over time, I started taking more time with composition and looking for interesting things to photograph. That continued when my son was born in 2008, as did the evolution of my collection of equipment.
The subject matter has shifted as well—baby photos became school event shots and now we’ve moved on to playing sports, but I still try to find time to look away from the family to other interesting things that can be captured. I will say that as my children have gotten older and I’ve advanced in my career, I don’t seem to have as much time as I did for photography. I guess that’s a sign that I need to make more time!